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ONE MORE WIN

Tuesday, 04.8.2014 / 9:45 AM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out

Win and they’re in.

It’s that simple now for the Flyers.

With four games remaining in the season the Flyers need just one win to clinch a playoff berth. There are other ways they can clinch as well, but the simplest form is win one game to guarantee it.

Win one game and their captain, Claude Giroux, makes good on his promise that seemed so ridiculous at 1-7-0 in October.

Win one game and they have as just as good a chance as any of the other 15 teams that are in the post season tournament to be hoisting the Stanley Cup in two months.

That doesn’t mean just win tonight and cruise for the rest of the week. There’s still a legitimate shot at catching the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division and earning home ice.

So, every game still matters.

But really, the Flyers couldn’t ask for this to be any other way. There’s no need to watch scoreboards. This is all within their control. Now they just have to go out and execute.

Now, some people want to know the other clinching scenarios, and while they exist, the only way they can clinch tonight is win.

However, an overtime or shootout loss gets them closer too.

Basically, here’s all you need to know: the magic number is two.

That means any combination of points earned by the Flyers or lost by both Washington and New Jersey totaling two and the Flyers are in. The magic number over Toronto is one.

In short, the only way the Flyers miss the playoffs at this point is to go 0-3-1 or 0-4 in their final four games while the Devils win out or Washington goes at least 3-0-1 in their final four games. The only way for Toronto to pass the Flyers is for them to go 3-0 and the Flyers to go 0-4.

As you can see, the scenarios are quite unlikely, although still possible, so nothing can be taken for granted.

But it’s important that the Flyers also don’t limp into the playoffs on the strength of just one win in these final four games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are only two points behind the Flyers and although the first tiebreaker currently belongs to the Flyers, that could change, which could drop the Flyers into a Wild Card scenario meaning a first round matchup with either Boston or Pittsburgh instead of New York.

The Jackets can also catch the Rangers, but need some help as they are four points back with a game in hand, but the Rangers hold the tiebreaker over them, so it’s unlikely that a Flyers-Jackets first round matchup would happen.

Meanwhile, the Flyers-Rangers, which is the most likely first round matchup, will have home ice determined over these final four games. Currently, the Rangers would win the tiebreaker over the Flyers with more regulation and overtime wins (ROW), however the Flyers could pass them with a strong finish (the Flyers could have 41. The Rangers currently have 39 with only three games to play).

If the two teams finish tied in ROW, the second tiebreaker is points earned in head-to-head matchups. The Flyers and Rangers split their four meetings with each team winning twice in regulation, meaning they would have to move on to the third tiebreaker. However, the third tiebreaker would go to the Rangers, which is goal differential. Currently the Rangers are a plus-22 while the Flyers are Even.

But that’s all talk for the rest of the week. For now the Flyers have to focus on one thing and one thing only – beating Florida tonight.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 53 16 29 -8 45
J. Voracek 53 8 35 -3 43
W. Simmonds 53 20 16 -7 36
B. Schenn 51 15 15 1 30
S. Gostisbehere 35 9 20 4 29
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
M. Raffl 53 7 7 5 14
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 51 4 9 -8 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 13 14 7 .917 2.65
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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